“If I were your enemy, I’d constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices. I’d want to keep you burdened by shame and guilt in hopes that you’ll feel incapacitated by your many failings and see no point in even trying again. I’d work to convince you that you’ve had your chance and blown it—that your God may be able to forgive some people for some things, but not you…not for this”–Priscilla Shirer, Fervent (93).
Have you ever felt like that? I know that I have. These are the opening lines of “Strategy 5—Your Past: Ending the Reign of Guilt, Shame, and Regret,” in Prisiclla Shirer’s latest book, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. If you’ve missed my last few posts, I have been reading and reviewing Fervent one strategy at a time. You can catch up here: Introduction, Strategy 1: Your Passion, Strategy 2: Your Focus, Strategy 3: Your Identity, Strategy 4: Your Family.
Fervent looks at ten strategies that the enemy uses to come against us and keep us from walking in victory. In Strategy 6, Shirer exposes Satan’s efforts to remind us of our shameful past, keeping us bound by guilt instead of freed by grace. She shares a very personal experience to demonstrate how God set her free from the pain of her past.
Here’s my favorite quote from this chapter:
“Again, one of the qualities that makes the gospel so real and so great is that it doesn’t eliminate our past but just so thoroughly deals with it” (99).
I love that! Those moments in our past that label us as failures are opportunities for God to show His grace to those around us. We have to stop allowing the enemy to manipulate our thoughts and feelings, and the most effective way to do that is through prayer. Jesus is more than able to take the pain of our past and use it to display His glory.
As with each chapter, Shirer ends with several Scriptures to reaffirm the truth that we are forgiven and freed from the mistakes of our pasts. She encourages fervent prayer, laced with the Word of truth, to move us daily from regret to joy and peace.
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